Oh my gosh, just found out that Amlodipine is causing my living hell

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Hi All - Bear with me as I download here. In April 2012, I was put on Amlodipine 5mg for high B/P.  During this time I was the sole caregiver for two ailing parents, trying to get kids off to college & going thru Menopause. Towards the end of 2013, I developed tingling in my face, sometimes my left arm and felt very vascular in my head at times.  I told my GP & she always told me it was my stress level & I was experiencing anxiety dealing with the care of my parents.  My B/P spiked again and Irbesartan was added to the cocktail.  I continued having headaches, flushing, tingling, electric shock in hands & calves and blurry vision.  When I googled my symptoms the same thing would come up....menopause symptoms, rosacea & "histamine intolerance".  I finally did get diagnosed with Roacea and so I just figured it was the Rosasea triggering my hormonal imbalances & vice versa.  Every time I brought this up to my GP, she laughed & said I had no more hormones left etc.  So, fast forward to March 2017 when I once again went to my GP & complained about my symptoms, she told me to go home and take an Ativan & then this past June after my physical & me continuing to complain she sent me home with a increased dosage 10 mg of Amlodipine.  From June 16th - July 6th I had horrific headaches, blurry vision, drop dead hot flashes, flushing, heart palpitations, anxiety, no energy, total dread feeling, tingling in face, hands and feet, muscle pains, rash on calves, swollen ankles and feet 

weird pain in my neck, upper hi issues -  I couldn't stand it - when I went back in for a B/P check my B/P had actually increased instead of decreased 152/84.  When my GP saw my swollen ankles she switched me from the Amlodipine 10mg to Bystolic 5mg. When the Pharmascist went to counsel me on this new drug she told me all the horrible side effects, so when I got home I just decided to look up the side effects of Amlodipine & then found this forum....OMG! I have been living with these symptoms now for almost four years and thinking it was menopause, Rosasea & grief/stress causing these unbearable side effects.  It seriously has diminished my quality of life.  I told my GP I was taking myself off of the Amlodipine as of this past Saturday. I feel less anxious/depressed, swelling has decreased, tingling in extremities less, electric shock less, rash gone but still some residual headaches and still don't feel myself.  My other Dr friend said it may take 2 to 3 weeks to feel better. What have other people found while coming off this horrific drug? I need to have hope that one day I will feel myself again - I now believe this drug caused my Rosasea, because your skin reacts to when your body is not well - Ugh! Western medicine only treats the symptoms not the cause - I am on a mission to recover my health. Please share in your recovery from this drug - 

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  • Posted

    I've been on Amlodipine for 3 months and have had bad side effect my GP didn't want to take me off. Side effects I've had were: swelling, heartburn, heart palpatations (so bad I went to the ER), flushing face, insominia, tingling left arm and leg. GP put me on omprazole that made things worse and I immedatily stopped taking that.

    Since my GP didn't want to take me off I went to the ER again all test (EKG, heart montior, blood work) came back find. The ER doc referred me to see a Cardioligst and after giving my symptoms he told me to stop cold turkey and if BP rises take Atenolol. Seems like Atenolol is a worse drug. I go back to the Cardio for stress test and 1 month of heart monitoring. I'm on day1 of cold turkey and still feeling flush, swollen, hearburn and palpatations. Should i taper instead? My BP was 135/93 and that's the reason for the meds but now stay around 120/85.

    Update.... I had the worst palpitations on day 3 too but now on day 5...i feel like they have subsided. Also my heartburn/gas problems are almost all gone however I still have discomfort on my left side and a bit of chest tightness. I still have feel flush in my face and am finally starting to have better nights sleep....not a full night but better. It's comforting to hear  that I'm on the same road to recovery as others.

    I've been checking my BP 2x daily and since being off it's been pretty normal always hovering around 120/80. I see my cardio doc at end of week for check up and Holt Monitor for precaution then later a stress test.

    i'm trying to keep my stress levels low and not stressing bout the little things. It's easier to do now that most of my systems have gone away. Since all started in May 2017 (it is August 2017 now), i've been religious on my diet and excerise and have lost 12 pounds. I just wish my GP wouldn't have started me on meds right away as he said my BP was boaderline (143/93) prior to all this so i could have done the healthy lifestyle route and been fine.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Theresa - it sounds like you are on the right track & I have been told by two different Drs that it is fine to go Cold Turkey with the Amlodipine.  I am on day 30 of being off the Amlodipine and even though I am feeling better, I still am having residual side effects.  However, I was on the Amlodipine for 5 years and am still on Avalide 300/25.  I will say my overall "dread" is gone, less tingling in extremities, flushing, swollen ankles with warm rash but I am still feeling anxious, some headaches & some palpitations and some joint pain.  I did think I had a blood clot last week, but Urgent Care ruled it out, it seems like each week since I have been off of it I get a new thing to worry about, but I hate that dreaded drug & cant believe I suffered for 5 yrs - thank goodness you found out when you did - good luck & your B/P sounds enviable - 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply but I am awake now with high BP 135/93 and it hasn't gone down. I'm debating on taking the Atenolol as the cardio doc said to take if it spikes. 

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    • Posted

      Theresa, 135/93 is only borderline high. Mine sometimes spikes to 160/90 (including in the doctor's office) and I don't have to take any medication. Do you think you might be worrying a bit too much?

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    • Posted

      Thanks lily, the number is still within "ok" limits it just sucks when it wakes me up from sleep. I'm surprised it only at that number when I take myBP because I get hot and flush and a headache. I start to worry about it cuz it won't let me go back to sleep. 

      I'm really trying not to take anything so I didn't take anything last night and just"breathed" 

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    • Posted

      Hi Theresa,

      Do you think you're approaching the menopause? That sounds like a far more likely reason you're waking up with hot flushes and headaches. Either that or anxiety. High BP rarely causes any symptoms at all until it's really at danger levels.

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    • Posted

      My mom mentioned the possibility of menopause...I'm 41.

      I didn't go to work today due to lack of sleep and have been resting at mom's and I was woken from my nap again with high BP...this time 135/95.  Same symptoms as last night...flush, hot, headache...I might just take the atenolol. I need some rest!

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    • Posted

      I can only repeat, Theresa - whatever is causing these hot flushes and headaches, it really isn't your blood pressure. You'd need to have levels of at least 210/140 to cause symptoms.

      It could be pre-menopause, but I think that's unlikely in your generation. Throughout the 20th century, average age at menopause moved back with each generation, though this increase will obviously have to slow down somewhere. I was born in 1944 and went through the menopause at age 45, which was a couple of years earlier than the average for my generation. I didn't have either hot flushes or raised BP in the run-up to the menopause, though I did have an increase in headaches. The hot flushes and a slight raise in BP (albeit much more than yours) came after the menopause. It's different for everyone. Since you appear to be in the US, you shouldn't find any difficulty in getting blood tests for hormone levels, to establish whether or not you are in pre-menopause.

      If you aren't, I'd strongly suggest addressing your health anxiety, preferably with CBT.

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  • Posted

    Hi Theresa - I have to agree with Lily - Your B/P is quite reasonable & I would suspect you are either suffering a bit with anxiety or you could be entering peri-menopause.  If it is the latter, having interrupted sleep is very common.  There are many things you can do to calm yourself to get back to sleep after an "episode".  The internet is filled with handy tips for woman and their struggles before, during and after menopause.  It's not fun, but unfortunately it's a part of life and you do not have to suffer.  If your flushing is noticeable, do you also have broken blood vessels on your face or small pimples?  It could also be the start of Rosasea.  Emotional/stress is a number one trigger for most people with Rosacea aside from food triggers.  You would have to have a dermatologist diagnose you, but there are topical & RX's that can help soothe the outbreak & flushing.  My bet is, you are just super anxious about this whole B/P thing and you have worked yourself up.  My suggestion to you is try taking a nice bath before bed with lavender oil, drink soothing camomile tea and try and do a bit of deep breathing with some meditative thoughts and see if that helps.  Also, sometimes being to wrapped up at night causes hot flashes as well. Hope that helps - 

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    • Posted

      Thanks ladies for your responses...I just left the ER and did a full work up on my heart, ekg, stress test, echocardiogram, blood work....all negative.

      The ER doc suggested premenopause and now that I'm reading on it....I think so too. I'm still not going to take any BP medicine as the amlodipine did a number in me. As you've each said my high BP is not too high so I'm going to still stick with excerise and diet.

      Any tips for hot flashes and premenopause?

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    • Posted

      Hi Theresa - Well I am happy at least everything checked out ok - it's scary to not know what's going on with our bodies.  For Hot Flash relief, Some people swear by taking Black Cohosh and or Evening Primrose and I am sure there are other "natural" remedies for Hot Flashes.  For me personally, I try to wear really lite cotton pjs & when I do feel a "hot flash" coming on, I immediately put a cold wash cloth on my neck & forehead. Sleeping with a fan on you helps also.  I really like the Menopause Goddess Blog, but there are others out there, you just have to search - hope that helps - 

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    • Posted

      I just got back from my Doctor appt as a follow up from leaving the ER and came back with a prescription of Atenolol 25 MG. I looked it up and it seems like a worse drug than the amlodipine!

      My BP is reading 119/85 now at home. At the doctors office it wa s139/90. I really feel

      Like it's not that high to truest medicate and suffer side effects of drugs.  Everyone around me says to take it (husband, mom, friends). I'm not ready to start up something that I can't just stop. The drug is a beta blocker that requires weaning.  

      Now that heart checks out ok and premenopause is a possibility...I think I can deal with the BP when I have anxiety about the menopause episodes.

      Any thoughts?

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    • Posted

      Theresa, 119/85 is perfectly OK. 139/90 is not really high either, particularly for someone with white coat syndrome. Mine often spikes higher than that in my GP's office, and he accepts it without giving me medication.

      No one else can tell you whether to take/not take medication, it's your choice. 25mg is quite a low dose though, so it wouldn't be too difficult to get off it.

      You could always wait a few days or weeks before starting the medication, to see how you get on. Nothing is going to happen to you in that time. But please don't stop and start. That may be what's been causing your problems.

      You very clearly don't need the atenolol (or any other medication) for your blood pressure. It's been prescribed for your severe anxiety. The question now revolves around whether you feel you can manage your anxiety yourself or you need to be medicated for it. Only you can decide that - not your doctor, your mom, your husband or your friends. I'd advise taking a few days to think about it, then starting the medication (and staying on it) if you - you - feel you need it.

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    • Posted

      Thanks lily 

      I was going to do the wait route as I'm just 2 weeks off amlodipine (which should be out of my system already). I'll see how the next few weeks go with nothing and if I have a menopause moments hits, deal with it (cold towel, tea, etc).

      The heart checking out ok might be the thing that would reduce my stress anyway. Knowing that's ok I can deduct its menopause.

      I want to be med free...so wish me luck!

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  • Posted

    I just saw my cardio as a follow up to my last ER visit. She basically told me that since my heart tests fine and I don't want to take the Atenolol she prescribed, that she can't do anything for me and to follow up with my GP to monitor my blood pressure.  I asked about possibly menopause, taking magnesium supplements and she pretty much said to talk to my GP. She was really pushing me to take the Atenolol but at the visit my blood pressure was 100/70 so obviously I don't need it. She said it would help with my palpitations since that is what keeps sending me to the ER. I told her I don't want to take it and she basically wanted to kick me out of the office. I'm so amazed. 

    So BP is fine but I still have palpations ...which I believe are really do to either sleep apnea or menopause. Why do doctor just want to treat things and not really find out the root of problems. I really feel like maybe I should just take the darn thing and call it a day. It'll help with BP and the palpitations (plus anxiety).

    But since Amlodipine wreaked havoc on my, i'm afraid to try this beta blocker!

     

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